In a disease outbreak, the exact strain of bacteria or virus can remain a mystery for weeks, preventing patients from receiving the most effective treatment and letting the illness spread. Now, more precise diagnostic tools are helping to quickly identify the right therapy, an approach that could be particularly valuable in treating a disease that kills 1.8 million people a year - tuberculosis.
Sharing data between researchers is speeding up the discovery of treatments for rare diseases but is too often an afterthought and needs to be encouraged through the way funding is structured, according to Professor Hanns Lochmüller from Newcastle University, UK. He chairs the interdisciplinary committee of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC), which was set up to increase collaboration in the area.
Whether it is by heating up tumour cells so they are more susceptible to cancer drugs, or by showing researchers exactly which molecules can stop cancer growing, tiny gold nanoparticles are opening up new avenues in the fight against the disease.
Robots steer plants to grow in pre-programmed forms.
Insulin resistance links the two diseases.
Railway networks, power stations and telephone grids are constantly being targeted, says Georg Peter.